The Valide Mosque is located on the north-west side of Aksaray Square in Fatih. It was built at the behest of Sultan Abdülaziz's mother, Pertevniyal Valide Sultan, between 1869-1871 and was designed by the architect, Sarkis Balyan. It is also known that Agop Balyan made a contribution to the project. The mosque is actually part of a complex made up of a school, tomb, clock room and public fountain. During the reorganization of Aksaray Square in 1956-1959 the other parts of the complex were either destroyed or, as in the case of the public fountain, moved elsewhere.
The Neo-Gothic style of the Valide Mosque differentiates it architecturally from the more classic mosques. The single dome is quite high, but small. The mosque's main body and front are different from any other mosques built up to that period. The neo-gothic embellishments, in particular, reinforce the mosque's unique beauty. The interior of the mosque also boasts an array of rich and beautiful embellishments. The interior is fully decorated with-blue inscriptions and engravings shining with gold gilding. The mosque has two minarets and a single gallery.
The door of the courtyard, which looks out onto Aksaray Square, is strikingly different from other mosques of Ýstanbul The door frame is one of the rare and unique examples of the art of stone engraving.
Wood Carving & Inlays
The ancient Turkish art of wood carving makes use of a variety of different design techniques on traditional forms such as columns, doors, window covers, chests, stools, and Quran covers. By the seventeenth century, inlays of ivory, bone, mother-of-pearl and other semi-precious stones were applied as inlays for carved wood pieces.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous use of mother-of-pearl inlays in Turkey are to be found in palace furniture and architecture. The most magnificent sites for such incomparable work are the Topkapý Palace, the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, the Tomb of Murad III, the Beylerbeyi Palace and the Blue Mosque.
Frequently used on the walls of buildings, mosques, minarets, gates, columns, pools and tombstones as a decorative feature, stone carvings added strenght and durability to structures in addition to its aesthetic function. Although almost all kinds of stones were used for carving and art work, marble and sandstone traditionally have been the most frequently used stone for this purpose.